John Scofield, Bill Stewart, Steve Swallow, Swallow Tales

There is a stately character to Swallow Tales, an album that delights from a number of points of view. Above all it is the unique atmosphere of small group interplay, sinuous lines criss crossing and a quietly determined lopingly swinging quality …

Published: 30 May 2020. Updated: 39 days.

There is a stately character to Swallow Tales, an album that delights from a number of points of view. Above all it is the unique atmosphere of small group interplay, sinuous lines criss crossing and a quietly determined lopingly swinging quality that draws you in and never lets you go. I'll guarantee that once on you'll be reluctant to switch this album off. Guitar great John Scofield is in full flow on this generous trawl through the considerable Steve Swallow-themed body of work. Recorded in New York just over a year ago, Scofield on Swallow Tales has the legendary bass guitarist and composer himself with him and drummer Bill Stewart for the session. 'Hullo Bolinas' in 3/4 time, has an engagingly laidback feel, drummer Bill Stewart shuffling along while Sco delivers a very pretty treatment of the opening theme. The composition goes back decades to for instance a Gary Burton solo vibes version that appeared on the 1972 released album Alone at Last. The album among other numbers also includes the trio's take on Swallow's 'Falling Grace,' 'Portsmouth Figurations,' 'Eiderdown,' 'Away,' (a piece Scofield recorded on his beautifully pastoral 1996 album Quiet) and 'In F'. A lovely album that I am sure will end up high among many listeners' albums of the year. Released by ECM.

Tags: 2020 best so far tracks / albumsAlbum reviews

Classy Clayton track heralds release of Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard

Now streaming, the lead-off track of pianist Gerald Clayton's Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard to be released in July, Clayton with Logan Richardson on alto saxophone, Walter Smith III on tenor saxophone, Joe Sanders on bass, and Marcus …

Published: 29 May 2020. Updated: 40 days.

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Now streaming, the lead-off track of pianist Gerald Clayton's Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard to be released in July, Clayton with Logan Richardson on alto saxophone, Walter Smith III on tenor saxophone, Joe Sanders on bass, and Marcus Gilmore on drums recording live at New York club the Village Vanguard. The track 'Rejuvenation Agenda' is one of four Clayton originals on the Blue Note release which also includes 'Body and Soul' plus Ellington and Bud Powell classics.